Some critics say Asterisk -- the open source IP PBX -- is for hackers rather than real telephony customers. EUS Networks begs to differ. The New York-based solutions provider, which works closely with Digium, has launched an Asterisk-based IP telephony solution for a hedge fund client's trading room floors. Here's the scoop.

The VAR Guy met EUS Networks CTO Jeronimo Romero yesterday. Since jumping into the Asterisk market in 2005 or so, EUS has lined up more than 1,000 Asterisk customers. But this isn't your usual VAR. The 24-person company has four Linux developers who customize Asterisk deployments for customers.

Romero's strategy is simple but bold: Much in the way that LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) became a disruptive, low-cost application stack for servers, EUS Networks thinks Asterisk can become an application development platform for next-generation phone systems that cost pennies compared to traditional phone systems.

The latest example: EUS Networks, leveraging Digium Asterisk Business Edition, is promoting an IP telephony solution for trading room floors. According to a statement from EUS and Digium:
The new system gives the customer, a hedge fund, advanced call-control functionality, including the call recording capabilities required by Sarbanes-Oxley, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); disaster recovery; the cost advantages of voice over IP; and the ability to keep using existing hardware and phone sets to save money.
In some ways, EUS Networks has bet its business on Digium -- the fast-growing, privately held promoter of Asterisk. During an October 2009 sit-down with The VAR Guy, Digium CEO Danny Windham stated that the company is profitable, growing and channel-focused. In fact, even Internet giants like Google are giving Asterisk a close look.

The VAR Guy isn't suggesting that Asterisk will replace all mainstream VoIP and PBX systems. But take a trip to EUS Networks' offices and you'll begin to see and hear why Asterisk is connecting with more and more mission critical customers in New York.

Oh, and one closing thought: While visiting EUS Networks, The VAR Guy participated in a 3D telepresence session. It was a rather incredible experience. More on that later. In the meantime, EUS Networks is dialing for dollars in New York, pitching Asterisk to financial services firms -- among other vertical market customers.

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